Running Backs: A+
A little self-indulgence here, but I listed Austin Ekeler as my X-Factor earlier in the week and boy was that the case. Ekeler carried it 12 times for a total of 58 yards and a score on the ground, as well as providing 96 yards on six catches and two scores there. A grand total of 154 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns? I can only imagine the grin on Tom Telesco’s face.
While Ekeler was the clear MVP of this contest, Justin Jackson provided a solid change of pace that only furthered the production of this unit. He took the rock six times and ended with 57 yards on the day, averaging 9.5 yards a carry.
This is a unit that will find itself under heavy scrutiny until Melvin Gordon returns and at least on Sunday they handled that pressure with an impressive showing.
Pass Catchers: B
Removing Ekeler from this conversation as he was already discussed above, the Chargers’ pass-catchers had a less than stellar day. Certainly not disappointing, but leaving a little to be desired.
Keenan Allen was surely the big winner, tallying 123 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions. Other than Allen and the aforementioned Ekeler, Mike Williams and Hunter Henry combined for six receptions and 89 yards. Not exactly the start to the breakout season for Williams or the comeback story for Henry that Chargers fans are counting on.
Nonetheless, this was in no way a poor performance for the unit as a whole. As defenses key more into Ekeler catching the ball out of the backfield we will see more targets headed Williams, Henry and Travis Benjamin‘s direction.